By David Warden
Day 3 Splits
Swim: 1:15:23 + 7:49 = 1:23:12
What do Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States have in common? Of the world’s major countries, only these three don't use the metric system. When former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee recently announced he was joining the 2016 Democratic primary race, he raised eyebrows when he said switching to the metric system would be one of his goals as president.
I don't know James' political leanings, but since he is originally from Canada, he might particularly agree with Gov. Chafee after today. This morning I took a look at James' swim and quickly realized he had swam 3966 yards, not 3862 meters (the standard 2.4 mile swim). He was a few hundred meters short.
I texted him, and his immediate response was "how many more yards do I need to swim when I get back from the bike?" A testament to his commitment and integrity, and he followed through with a second swim after the bike.
I'm confident the mistake was due to the fact that the Garmin 920xt, the device James uses for the swim and run, has both a Pool Swim and Open Water option. James first two days of swimming were done in a pool using the Pool Swim activity and where the Pool Swim setting has been in meters. The first outdoor swim was today, and James switched to the Open Water option, which was still set to yards. I'm confident this will be corrected to meters for Day 4 and forward.
Day 3 also finally gave me the 14 hour Ironman I have been hoping for. Unfortunately, it was not necessarily due to decreased intensity, but due to an increase in the bike difficulty, particularly the total ascent at 5,558 feet (in the spirit of this blog, 1694 meters!), more than double the ascent over the first two days. I recommended to James that every bike in each state start at the top of a mountain and go downhill, but he just can't pull that together. He is depending on local ambassadors to guide him, and they often have to pick the route for him. 5,558 feet of ascent may be nothing compared to other Ironman courses, but for this project it makes me cringe. Fortunately Day 4 should provide some easier cycling.
Another challenge for analyzing Day 3 was that James could not find his HR monitor, and started the bike without it. One-third through the bike he dropped a chain which disabled his power meter, but then for the second half he found his HR monitor and we then had HR data again. The result is a Jackson Pollock-esque portrait of his bike chart, and no real opportunity for a complete analysis.
Peak 20 minute average was 179 today, excellent. Normalized power was high at 180 for the period we had power (first 2.5 hours), but average was only 151 watts. This delta between average and normalized power is due to the rolling hills and significant coasting. James may not have a lot of choice in the hills to stay at the target 160, but I have encouraged him to use all the gears possible when in the hills. Cadence at 76 is acceptable for the given terrain.
No HR data for the run today, not sure why, since James had it back for the second half of the bike. I do not have a strategy for analyzing the run. I have very little experience in analyzing a run/walk, usually that means a failed run for my elite athletes. In this case it is essential. But for James, just getting the marathon done in under 6 hours is a huge win! As long as he stays around 5.5 hours, that is exactly where I think we should be each day. He walked about 110 minutes and jogged the rest (very rough estimate).